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Driveway paving contractor headed back behind bars after violating probation

Santino Gilk pleaded guilty to home improvement fraud
santino glik.jpg
Posted at 9:28 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 15:57:31-04

MORGAN COUNTY — A Greenwood driveway paving contractor convicted of home improvement fraud is headed back behind bars.

On Tuesday, a Morgan County judge found Santino Gilk violated the terms of his probation and ordered him to serve 1.5 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

“Finally, he got justice and not just a smack on the hand,” said Mike Swiergiel, a former customer of Gilk.

WRTV Investigates reported in February 2020 that Gilk reached a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence and home improvement fraud.

In February 2020, the judge sentenced him to four years however the bulk of his sentence was suspended, and Gilk also received a year of probation.

Because Gilk did not follow the terms of his probation, Morgan County judge Brian Williams decided Tuesday that Gilk will serve the remaining 574 days of his sentence behind bars.

“He deserves everything he gets, plus more, for the other people that never pursued him,” Swiergiel said.

Since his February 2020 sentence, Gilk has been arrested several times on impaired driving charges.

Gilk’s business partner Natalie Davis pleaded guilty in 2019 to home improvement fraud and corrupt business influence, both felonies, in connection with a driveway paving operation.

Natalie Davis and Gilk operated a business called “Awesome Asphalt,” records show, and are accused of taking money from consumers and not finishing the job.

PREVIOUS | Driveway paving company operator pleads guilty to home improvement fraud

“I think Mr. Gilk, like many people, is struggling with substance abuse related issues," his attorney, Michael Auger, said. "He understands where the judge is coming from in this case and hopes that while he is in the Department of Correction, he can get some very much needed substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.”

Gilk gave a puzzling response to WRTV Investigates in September 2019.

“There’s a no-contact order on you, ma'am,” Gilk said to Kenney. “You’re committing a felony right now. Don’t you respect the law at all?”

WRTV Investigates said they had not received any paperwork about a no contact order.

“Would you like to come to my house and have me show you the no contact order and I’ll call the police and they’ll be waiting to arrest you?” Gilk said to WRTV Investigates.

Shortly after the exchange, Davis signed a plea agreement.

The plea said Davis is not supposed to contact Kara Kenney.

There was never a no-contact in order in place that prevented WRTV Investigates from asking Davis and Gilk questions in the courthouse.

The Swiergiels hired Awesome Asphalt in 2017.

“It’s pretty much a nightmare,” Megan Swiergiel said. “We have had nothing done to our driveway besides what we’ve done to make it usable and get access to our property.”

PREVIOUS | Driveway paving company accused of taking customers’ money and not doing the work promised

TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR:

  • Get estimates in writing
  • Check for criminal charges or civil suits here
  • Check for a contractor’s license
  • Ask for references and call them
  • Ask to see examples of their work
  • Ask about insurance: personal liability, worker’s comp, and property damage coverage
  • Pay wisely, not all up front

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